Idol v. Idol

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Lawyers for “American Idol” are apparently worried that the simialr name of Senior Idol will cause the public to confuse the television show’s judges, Keith Urban, Jennifer Lopez, and Harry Connick, Jr.…
… with Senior Idol’s own celebrity guest judges, from left, Xaverian music director Joe Lopotsky, first-ever Senior Idol winner Nancy Liatsis and famed Bay Ridge rocker Frankie Marra.
The legal eagles fear that people might mistake glamorous 2012 Senior Idol contestant Audrey Melikian …
… for blue-haired “squeeze box” player and 2014 “American Idol” contestant Joey Cook.
Hollywood lawyers logged billable hours fretting that 2014 “American Idol” winner Caleb Johnson — who sang “Sympathy for the Devil” in his first-round appearance that year — might be confused with …
… 2012 Senior Idol winner Vincent Frisari, who took the top prize singing the aria “Nessun Dorma.”
But Lawyers for the aging television franchise can be forgiven for worrying that “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest would be mistaken on the street for …
… dashing Senior Idol host state Sen. Marty Golden, who admittedly is a dead ringer.

The fact that lawyers for the dwindling Fox franchise “American Idol” threatened legal action if Bay Ridge’s Senior Idol singing contest did not immediately cease and desist using that name raises the question of their grounds for a charge of trademark infringement.

According to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, trademark infringement is the unauthorized use of a trademark “in a manner that is likely to cause confusion, deception, or mistake” in the mind of a reasonable person between the offerings of the trademark holder and the infringing party.

Unfortunately the lawyers did not return calls for comment regarding their presumably earnest fears that a local charity talent show for senior citizens would be mistaken for a nationally televised gladiatorial combat for teeny-bopper singers and fallback job for aging pop stars.

So we put together a slide show to see if our readers’ reasonable minds would be confused or deceived about the difference between the two. Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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